Day 1: The Journey Begins

Hello World! Nice to meet you, my name is Josh. On this website, I will be recording my daily journey as I teach myself front-end web development. The primary purpose for this undertaking is to build enough skills to be self-employed and fund my obsessive traveling addiction (see my trips at www.joshstricker.com). If you have ever been interested in what it takes to become a coder… this story will be for you. In a few months, I will be using my finely polished skills to launch a tech startup and I will be documenting that journey step-by-step. Let’s get this party started.


Some background for the curious among you…

This does not feel like the best time to start such a massive project, but I intend to push through the inevitable obstacles that arise. I will be writing a blog post daily to discuss what I have learned and share the valuable resources that I discover. For accountability and support, I have joined the Live Your Legend blog challenge and look forward to engaging with that amazing community as I progress.

Why am I starting this right now? The main reason is that I am in the middle of some major transitions in my life. I am recovering from ACL knee surgery and my savings have been dwindling rapidly this past year. The rational part of my brain, reinforced by societal norms, continues to tell me that I should get a steady job and save money for my wedding (I proposed to my girlfriend two days before my surgery). But I am stubborn, over-ambitious, and foolishly optimistic I suppose. I have a burning desire to do something different from the path that I was on before.

After college, I began working at a top consulting firm with an amazing salary. I spent several years there, but I feel like I aged decades during that time. Each day I was commuting 2-3 hours, and I was honestly burned out within the first couple months of joining. Was this really what I had to look forward to for the rest of my life? The work did not seem like it was serving a purpose for a greater good, and I rarely interacted with coworkers that were happy with their job. I realized that there was more to life than climbing the corporate ladder and I finally called it quits.

After leaving my job, I used my savings to travel the world. It was an amazing time in my life and the experiences had a lasting impact. I have not exactly stopped traveling, but I did spend much of this past year working with my girlfriend to launch a business. Instead of getting a puppy (or baby) like many couples I know, we bought a domain name and created an e-commerce store selling sustainable bamboo watches. I am still running GEN Bamboo today, but I have other passions that are calling. I have always wanted to create awesome tech products, and I am finally ready to take that leap.

By recording what I learn on my journey, I hope to transform my life for the better like those that have come before me. I think the blog challenge is a great start and an amazing legacy that Scott Dinsmore left. Now that my decision has been made, I just have to keep the streak alive each day. I am not yet a coder or a blogger, but as described in this Ted talk I will fake it until I become it.

My decision is rooted in a desire to make a positive change in my life. For that reason, I have no choice but to keep going. This is summed up beautifully with this quip of wisdom from Seth Godin:

“If you can make a decision once, then the question isn’t should I do it? It’s what will I do? If you make the decision once to be a vegan, then you don’t need to have a discussion with yourself every single night about whether or not to have a hamburger. If you make the decision to blog every single day, then the only discussion I have to have with myself is what’s the best blog post I can write — not should I write a post. As (Saturday Night Live Producer) Lorne Michaels has said, ‘Saturday Night Live doesn’t go on because it’s ready. It goes on because it’s 11:30.”

Ready or not…. now is the time.

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